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Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jogging Her Memory

It's been another long day of rehab for Court which included more walking and eating. She took another twenty steps in the harnessed walker, we're really proud of her progress though she's frustrated about having to relearn tasks that came so easily two months ago. Today's menu was pureed beef, cheddar broccoli soup and pumpkin pie.

In speech therapy Rachel ran over a set of exercises to improve her short term memory. The first was a series of one paragraph stories that the therapist read and then asked Courtney to repeat. Having to keep track of the details in three sentences is difficult for Courtney, but we learned two strategies to improve her memory. The first is repetition. Repeating small details over and over helps to her to recall them. Repetition is the first strategy we learned.

The second memory building technique is association. Courtney was given a grocery list of three items: milk, bread and apples. If she forgets one or two of the items, we can give her hints like the aisle in which its found or similar products that she can associate them with. It feels like we're back in grade school (if Susie has five apples and Johnny eats four of them, how many apples does she have left? (and should she reevaluate her relationship with Johnny the apple inhaler?)) That was a double parenthesis.

Since she can't watch TV or videos, we listened to some choice stand-up comedy specials from George Carlin, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. I thought Court could just ditch the grocery list and commit to memory Carlin's list of the seven dirty words.

The final details with Crotched Mountain are being hammered out and we're expecting a move soon, closer to days than weeks. We're looking forward to having weekend visitors and keep our fingers crossed that we take the next step soon.



Anonymous said...

I can't help but think how marvelous & intricate & magical the brain is! I wish I could be there to help & see her progress day to day.....
I'll bet she can't wait to get to Crotched Mtn.....I know I can't wait to visit her!


mom said...

Court had another good night last night. Marty stayed with her and this morning she told me she remembered yesterday pretty well!! That's the first time she has said that! She remembered the date and also that Meg and Jay are coming to visit this Sat. We have others from Burlington arriving as well so it looks to be a fun weekend for us all! Stay tuned!
Love, Julie

Anonymous said...

Ahh! Go Court!! I am SOOO excited! All this fabulous news about walking and remembering and going to NH! I'm just giddy!
Of course, I'm also at school at the moment, and my students are at this moment taking a test, so it probably looks like I'm grinning sadistically over their plight right now, but that's ok, I'm not going to stop!
I can't wait to come visit you again, hopefully in NH next time!


Meltron said...

Court you're amazing!!!!
I hope that I can see you very soon in NH and ride horses with you :)

Sean you should listen to some Mitch Hedberg too...

Happy November everyone!

Abraham said...

I'm so thrilled to hear about the progress! I wish I could have come to visit with Val last week, but at least I got quite an earful about it when she got back. :) I've been so impressed with Courtney's healing process. It has left me simply in awe of the brain's amazing resilience and ability to heal's kind of the ultimate example of "when there's a will, there's a way." I firmly believe that any brain that wants to become stronger is, indeed, a very healthy brain (however much work it still has to do). I have no doubt that her healing will continue to accelerate and amaze us all!
Best wishes - Abe

Debbie said...

Such great pictures of Courtney and all. Her smile gives us all hope! Julie - you are amazing. I miss our lunches -
Have a great weekend.

Marti said...

Courtney's brain has always been something to marvel at - but now even more!

These latest updates are so inspiring. Keep up the good work everyone!

Anonymous said...

Hey I think I need some of that memory training too.

Great work Courtney! Keep it up. See you soon.

Gary Flo